Light Corn Syrup Substitute

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Corn Syrup

Need light corn syrup for a recipe? If you don’t have any, or don’t like to use the stuff, try one of these substitutes instead.

Light Corn Syrup Substitutes for Baking and Cooking

Light corn syrup adds sweetness to recipes, without adding flavor or color; it keeps sugar from crystallizing in candy; it makes baked goods moist, and it extends the shelf life of foods. Consider which of these functions the light corn syrup plays in your recipe; then, choose the substitute that comes closest to filling it.

Any of the following can take the place of one cup of light corn syrup:

1 cup honey – Use honey as a one-to-one replacement for light corn syrup. It has the same thickness, and won’t change the color of your recipe much – especially if you use a light-colored honey. It’ll also keep your baked goods moist. But you may want to use a different substitute, if you’re making honey. It’ll crystallize, if you take it to the hardball stage.

1 cup maple syrup or pancake syrup – Replace the light corn syrup in your recipe with the same amount of maple syrup. Better yet, use pancake syrup. It’s made from light corn syrup and maple flavoring, so it’ll get all the intended corn syrup into your recipe. This substitute will add a maple flavor and light amber color to your recipe, so consider whether this will work well with what you’re making. Making caramel or another type of hard candy? Then, use the fake stuff. It won’t crystallize.

1 cup granulated sugar + 1 cup hot water – Create a concentrated simple syrup by dissolving sugar in hot water. This substitute won’t add any extra flavor or color to your recipe, and works beautifully in pecan pie. It just isn’t suited to hard candy, since the sugar will crystallize at high temps.

1 cup golden syrup or glucose syrup – If light corn syrup isn’t available in your country, use golden syrup (light treacle) instead. It’s a tad thicker, and will add a light, buttery taste to whatever you’re making, but it should perform well in any recipe that calls for light corn syrup – even hard candies. Glucose syrup (confectioner’s glucose) will also work.

1 cup agave syrup – Use a light-colored agave syrup in place of the light corn syrup in your recipe. It has a fairly neutral flavor, and won’t add much color to your recipe. Just don’t use it in candy – it’ll crystallize.

Tip: To get an accurate measurement when you’re measuring a sticky syrup, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray, or run it under hot water, before you fill it. This will keep the syrup from clinging to the cup, so it all ends up in your recipe.

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Corn Syrup

Light Corn Syrup Substitute

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Here’s how to substitute the light corn syrup in any recipe, with great results.

  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup


  • honey, maple syrup, pancake syrup, granulated sugar, golden syrup or agave syrup


To replace one cup of light corn syrup, use:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup maple syrup or pancake syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar + 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup golden syrup (light treacle) or glucose sugar (confectioner’s glucose)
  • 1 cup agave syrup


Nutrition facts are based on using one cup of honey.

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One Comment

  1. Hi. My name is Gwendolen. I started making my own hard candy with a recipe that my great grandma used to use. I have made several batches a few weeks ago and wanted to make more but I don’t have light corn syrup, so I started looking for substitutes and i came across your substitutes for light corn syrup. I am going to try using the pancake syrup. I will update with the results. Can I use the honey for hard tack candies. Thank you

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